Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme (EWAP)

Programme Director: Professor Marcel Vellinga

Contact: ewap@brookes.ac.uk

Funded by: Arcadia

About us

The Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme (EWAP) is a cultural grants programme that offers small and large grants for the documentation of endangered wooden architecture. The programme is hosted by Oxford Brookes University and delivered in collaboration with CyArk. EWAP was established in 2021 with funding from Arcadia, a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage and promote open access to knowledge. 

Throughout history, wood has been an important building material all around the world. Today, extensive and rapid global deforestation, combined with competition from industrially manufactured materials threatens the continuity and survival of many wooden buildings and the carpentry traditions and ways of life associated with them.There is an urgent need to document the endangered wooden architectural heritage before much of it disappears due to the combined forces of globalisation, deforestation and material transience.

EWAP supports projects that focus on documenting wooden architecture that is endangered because of neglect, conflict or environmental circumstances. These records will be maintained for the long-term within an open-access digital repository. The programme also aims to develop research capacity, foster new collaborations and initiatives, and raise awareness and appreciation of the value and significance of wooden architecture around the world.

Research impact

Craftsmen constructing building in Indonesia

Oxford Brookes University will ensure long-term storage and provide open access to all data generated by the projects. Alongside making an invaluable contribution to the long-term preservation of the world's cultural heritage, the open-access platform aims to:

  • Engender new understandings, applications and collaborations among conservationists, academics, policy makers, architectural practitioners, engineers and local communities
  • Enable the use of data that is often difficult to find and access, and may as such be transformational in stimulating documentation, research and conservation efforts
  • Provide inspiration to a new generation of architects and engineers who are re-discovering timber as an environmentally sustainable and low carbon building material.


Aylin Orbasli

Professor Aylin Orbasli

Professor of Architectural and Urban Heritage

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Kelly Reed

Dr Kelly Reed

Programme Manager Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme

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Marcel Vellinga

Professor Marcel Vellinga

Professor of Anthropology of Architecture

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Advisory board



Image Credits

Banner image: 'Enhanced rulong'. Heralded as China's oldest woven-arch timber bridge, the Rulong ("like a dragon") Bridge was constructed during the Ming dynasty in 1625 and renovated between 1821 and 1859 during the Qing dynasty. Author: Ronald G. Knapp, 2019.

Research impact image: House building in Indonesia. Author: Marcel Vellinga

Remaining images: © Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library; Oxford Brookes University, Published by Oxford Brookes University